Cat Camel

Purpose: To improve spinal mobility in flexion and extension

Points of Interest: The exercise can be very helpful in acute pain settings as it encourages motion which can help to override pain signals.

Instructions: Begin on your hands and knees with your hands beneath your shoulders and your knees below your hips.  To complete the "cat" motion, tuck your chin down toward your chest and tuck your tailbone underneath you while simultaneously arching your back by drawing up with the bellybutton.  Your aim is to create a large, smooth arch along the entire spine, similar to a cat arching its back.  To complete the "camel" motion, look up toward the ceiling and point your tailbone toward the ceiling while letting your torso fall toward the ground.  Your shoulders should be relaxed and away from your ears.  Imagine yourself as a camel with two humps (your head and your buttock).

Progression: Segmental cat camel can be done by imagining a wave going down your back one vertebra at a time as you oscillate between the cat and camel positions.

Cat

Camel

Child's Pose

Purpose: To increase lumbar spine flexion by stretching the thoracolumbar fascia and posterior abdominal wall

Points of Interest: This exercise is not for patients with flexion intolerant low back pain (i.e. discogenic low back pain)

Instructions: Begin on your hands and knees with your hands below your shoulders and knees below your hips.  Bring your hips back toward your feet and allow your low back to round.  Keep your arms fully extended in front of you.  Breathe deeply into your abdomen and lower back.

Double Leg Knee to Chest

Purpose: To decrease tension in the low back by improving hip and lumbar spine flexion range of motion

Points of Interest: This exercise is part of the lumbar spinal stenosis program.

Instructions: Lying on your back, bring one leg toward your chest, followed by the other.  Wrap your hands around your shins (or thighs) and hug both knees toward your chest.  Continue diaphragmatic breathing to expand the posterior abdominal wall.

Single Leg Knee to Chest

Purpose: To decrease tension in the low back by improving hip and lumbar spine flexion range of motion

Points of Interest: This exercise is part of the lumbar spinal stenosis program.

Instructions: Lying on your back, bring one leg toward your chest.  Keep the other leg extended and flat on the floor.  Wrap your hands around your shin (or thigh) and hug your knee toward your chest.  Continue diaphragmatic breathing to expand the posterior abdominal wall.

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Fax: (705)726-8588

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